The Hunger Games trilogy review

Due to all the hype, I wanted to read Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy.

Eva Rinaldi photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Hey look. They made a Hunger Games movie!

So I bought them online, and sat down to enjoy the greatest literary series since Twilight and/or Harry Potter (note: I have never read Twilight or Harry Potter, I’m just going on buzz).

As I was reading the series, all I could think of was the TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The main character reminded me of Buffy in a lot of ways.

Here’s a secret a lot of people don’t like to admit about the Buffy show: Even though the series was built around her, the Buffy character was the worst character on the show.

Buffy whined a lot. She complained all the time. She didn’t want to be in the position she was in. While others did what they did for the good of the world, Buffy thought only of herself. She wanted to live her own life, not save the world. She had a younger sister she had to protect. She had no father figure.  She had problems trusting people, and letting those who love her into her life.

In essence, she was a selfish girl.

The main girl in the Hunger Games, Katniss, is the exact same in every way. She whines. She complains. She only thinks of herself. She wants to be on her own, not save the world. She has a younger sister she has to protect. She has no father figure. She has problems trusting people, and letting those who love her into her life.

It’s uncanny how similar the two girls are, to the point it takes away from what each series wants to accomplish — creating strong female characters.

In the Hunger Games, there are two people who love Katniss. Katniss doesn’t love either one of them. She’s thrust into the action that she doesn’t want anything to do with, and even though she’s seen as a leader, she doesn’t want to be.

I keep thinking of the expression, leaders are born, not made. And that’s certainly true in Katniss’s case. She doesn’t want it, and comes across as a whiny girl.

MAJOR SPOILER

The very end of the series, Katniss gets together with one of the two guys that love her. But even at that point, it doesn’t seem like she loves him. It seems like she does it because she doesn’t know what else to do. She has kids because that’s his dream, not hers.

It almost feels like the author thought they had to get together, and couldn’t figure out a good way to do it, so she just ended the story without really explaining what happened.

Overall, the books were good. I’d give them a 3.5 out of 5. But the main character really took away from it, which is a shame.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Hunger Games trilogy review

  1. Yea, i wished she ended up with gale instead.

  2. Cheryl

    Interesting thoughts, Tom, but I loved the series in large part because of the main character. SO many books/movies are based around characters who are strong, invincible, lovable, heroic, selfless, eager to serve, etc. It was nice to read a series about a girl who is pretty normal – selfish, vulnerable – and therefore more relatable. It makes the character development more interesting, in my opinion.
    I agree with you about the ending though, it was pretty lame how Katniss and the guy were just thrown together.

    • Here was the thing to me: Every other character in the book stood up when they needed to. Gale, Peeta, Haymitch, Cinna, Finnick, Johanna, Mags, Beetee, the team that went on the suicide mission, etc. They all took a stand. They all decided to fight the good fight. They all lost family and friends. And a good many of them sacrificed themselves for Katniss, without a second thought.

      But Katniss wasn’t like that. She hemmed and hawwed, didn’t want to co-operate with others in District 13, didn’t want to listen to people, etc.

      People were willing to die for Katniss and the war. Katniss was willing to hide in the tunnels whenever something happened she didn’t like.

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